Coming Soon: More Right Wing Litigation
Starring newly formed Center for Competitive Federalism
MADISON – Yesterday, the right-wing Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) announced the creation of the Center for Competitive Federalism (CFC), whose main objective will be engaging in ideological litigation aimed at advancing conservative policies and ideas.
Over the last year and a half, Wisconsin has seen a blatant campaign waged by Attorney General Brad Schimel, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans using taxpayer money to fight ideological, partisan battles in court, including abortion, LGBTQ rights, the Affordable Care Act and the Clean Power Plan. In this past budget alone, legislative Republicans created the Office of the Solicitor General, which, according to Attorney General Schimel, exists with the explicit purpose of suing the federal government. Furthermore, Schimel has shrunk departments like the Environmental Protection Unit to its smallest size in 25 years while beefing up his litigation team with out of state, ultra-conservative attorneys.
“How ironic that over the last year, the groups that criticize the growth of government are the very ones that are growing it. The CFC is simply an extension of the wasteful taxpayer-funded lawsuits that have been filed left and right by Attorney General Schimel and Solicitor General Tseytlin that they refuse to be held accountable for. Attorney General Schimel has turned DOJ into his personal, partisan litigation firm that is putting ideological fights before the people. Instead of fighting discrimination, they encourage bullies. Instead of protecting our individual liberties, they are launching lawsuits to take away the rights of women, LGBTQ individuals and to stop needed environment protections at a time when pollution is contaminating our water resources” Taylor said.
During the budget process, Rep. Taylor asked Attorney General Schimel for a total estimate of resources his office spent on litigation – he claimed DOJ does not keep track of how their state resources and staff time are spent. Rep. Taylor offered a motion that would have required the Solicitor General to keep track of the hours spent on litigation. Republicans voted it down. In response, Rep. Taylor authored Assembly Bill 919, which requires DOJ to provide JFC a report of all civil cases in litigation, and the amount of money spent on each civil case including the amount of staff time spent.
“Reading the tea leaves, yesterday’s announcement by WILL with elected officials just goes to show these groups know that Donald Trump is a losing cause and they are circling the wagons to prepare for the Clinton administration. Just as Republican lawmakers gathered before President Obama’s inauguration to defeat his agenda, we are seeing the same tactics today. The people of Wisconsin want government to work for them, not against them. They deserve better,” Taylor concluded.